Saturday, September 27, 2014

Obao - you're better off not staying

Obao is a hotspot in Midtown East for some southern Asian cuisine. Mainly run by Thai people, but make quite spot on dishes. I usually order takeout from them because it's faster and slightly cheaper (because I don't have to pay tip).

One odd summer day, my coworker and I stopped by for lunch. We were seated all the way in the back, in their garden, no worries because they have a roof for some shade. Service was extremely slow. I understand that it's the busy lunch hour but having just 3-4 staff waiting the entire restaurant is quite unacceptable.

We got our glass of water after the table next to us got their's and they came in after us. I asked for the beverage menu and a few minutes later they didn't come by again to ask me if I wanted anything. Is it me or am I expecting too much from a restaurant in midtown? Maybe I'm just too spoiled...

Obao has these lunch specials that are pretty good, they range anywhere from $8-15 and if you want an appetizer, just tag on another $3-5. If you ask me, that's one pricey lunch.

The salad was pretty standard. Nothing special or worth mentioning here.

For appetizer, I ordered the Spring Rolls. It was quite good and was already drizzled with some fish sauce over it, which I wished came separately. Nonetheless, it was crunchy and filled with a nice amount of meat and vegetables.

The Pork Belly with Chinese Broccoli is what the rave is about here. I had it once for takeout and it was amazingly good, so it just had to be better fresh out from the kitchen right? Well, to be honest it wasn't any better, it tasted just like the time I had it as takeout. Don't get me wrong, it was good but I guess I expected more. Very powerful and flavorful dish, you can really taste southern Asia in this dish, no lie.

My coworker ordered the Thin Cut Vietnamese Pork Chop and it tasted just like the ones you would get at the Vietnamese restaurants. Marinated and packed with flavor, the lime gave it a nice kick which I like.

Overall, I wouldn't dine here again. Even though the food was pretty darn good, the service was really poor. I would rather order takeout and not deal with the service and still get some kickass food.

222 E 53rd St
New York, NY 10022
(212) 308-5588


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Cha Chan Tang - breakfast before you leave

There's not enough Chinese restaurants in Chinatown that does traditional Hong Kong breakfast. Cha Chan Tang is one to consider since it's the most spacious and eye-appealing.

J and I came in for breakfast before I had work, service wasn't the fastest but it was quite average. Just like any Americanized Chinese restaurant, they have your letterized meals and each comes with coffee or milk tea of your choice; ie. A=macaroni in soup with ham.

Something really simple like Satay Beef Instant Noodle Soup is done really well. I can always make instant noodle but satay beef is definitely something I wouldn't be willing or wanting to whip up at home out of the blue. The meal is $4, well $3 to be more accurate since a drink is usually around $1.

J got Preserved Egg w/ Pork Congee along with Soy Sauce Fried Noodles. Both of these for just $3.75 which is a really good deal.

Portion size is generous, especially when you're only one person. I'm not crazy about congee but I do really enjoy the soy sauce noodles. Combine the congee and noodles in one bite and it's quite heavenly. I always think that the congee is bland and the noodles are more on the oily and dry side, therefore they're a perfect match when ordering and eating them together.

The atmosphere of Cha Chan Tang does give you that hint of Hong Kong cafes because of the stand off-ish feel. I mean, you sit, you order, you're served, you eat, you pay, you leave. There's hardly ever any smiling or nodding or goodbyes. It's just how it works. If you ever went to Hong Kong, you'd know what I mean.

Cha Chan Tang
 45 Mott St
New York, NY 10013
(212) 577-2888

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Kulu Desserts - a treat that was long awaited

A big gap formed from late December until now, no explanations really, unless you want a reason...and the reason will be I was extremely busy, with work.

I finally was able to relax after April and even then it I still have loads of work to do. The life of an accountant. J and I along with another two friends decided to invest in a day of relaxation, it was pretty much a spontaneous day. After a late lunch, we visited Kulu Desserts which has basically your average Asian desserts. Anything from bubble tea to crepes and cold/hot dessert soups.

I personally love watermelon, then again, who doesn't? The Grass Jelly and Watermelon in Coconut Juice really hit the spot. Had a nice coconut milk flavor that wasn't too overpowering, the watermelon gave a nice crunch while the grass jelly gave a nice jello-bite to the whole ensemble. It's a good choice for a hot day, especially since it's already July.

To wash everything down, J ordered our usual, Green Tea w/ Honey. It's extremely light and refreshing, has just enough sweetness from the honey but something tells me that they added a bit of simple syrup in there also.

Nonetheless, Kulu is pretty neat for a hangout spot but it gets quite cold in there with the a/c blasting. And also, there are a lot of young Asian kids hanging around. After a good 30 minutes, we felt out of place, our friend was like maybe we should've went to a bar...

Kulu Desserts
806 62nd St
Brooklyn, NY 11220
(718) 680-2818